It’s Week 4

#1 von liny195 , 03.01.2019 08:21 , and after Sunday the season will be a quarter of the way through. With no clear dominant squad in the AFC North, the serious part of the season is about to get underway. The main matchup in the division this week is Sunday night’s contest between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, but the Cincinnati Bengals also have a test ahead in the Atlanta Falcons. While all eyes will be on Baker Mayfield’s first NFL start against the Oakland Raiders this week, the rest of the division is also worth attention. Here’s what’s going on in Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnati.Baltimore Ravens: After years of struggling to find footing on offense, the Baltimore Ravens might have finally built up that side of the ball enough to make it among the best in the league. Baltimore Beatdown’s Jacob Loque details just how the Ravens offense “has gotten off to their most promising start in years.Looking to Sunday, Vasilis Lericos breaks down the five key matchups for the Ravens against the Steelers. And Logan Levy has the Ravens’ latest injury update, which includes the return of rookie tight end Hayden Hurst to the practice field. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers are three-point home favorites over the Ravens on Sunday night, reports Behind the Steel Curtain’s Simon Chester. But the more interesting of the Vegas lines is the over/under point total. At 51 points, this is the highest opening over/under in the history of the teams’ rivalry.One key to a Steelers win on Sunday will be the involvement of now-healthy tight end Vance McDonald. Shannon White further makes the case that McDonald will be integral to the Steelers’ success throughout the season—but only if he can stay healthy. Another is finding a way to stabilize the secondary, and Nick Farabaugh’s answer is to start Cameron Sutton at cornerback alongside Joe Haden, rather than Artie Burns or Coty Sensabaugh.Cincinnati Bengals: It’s just three games into his second season, but Bengals receiver John Ross hasn’t yet looked like a first-round draft pick. With five receptions for 27 yards and a touchdown, Cincy Jungle’s John Sheeran wonders if it’s time to write him off or to give him more time before he’s branded the dreaded “bust.”Matt Minich takes to the film to illustrate how the Bengals offense can get the better of the Atlanta Falcons and their injury-ravaged defense on Sunday. One thing that will certainly help is receiver A.J. Green. Green suffered a pelvis injury in Week 3 but was able to practice on the rehab field on Wednesday, per Jason Marcum. Initially thought to be a long-shot to play in Week 4, it’s now possible Green will suit up against Atlanta. The City of New Orleans had several opportunities to acquire a pro football team, and each one failed.In 1961, the Oakland Raiders of the American Football League (AFL) were about to be sold and moved to New Orleans until the mayor of Oakland stepped in and stopped the proceedings. After the 1962 AFL season, the owner of the Dallas Texans sought out the possibility of moving his franchise to the Crescent City. When he found out that Tulane Stadium (the only facility large enough) was still segregated, he passed and relocated to Kansas City to which the Chiefs were born. As early as 1965 Cleveland Browns T-Shirt , the National Football League (NFL) had eyes on putting a team in Louisiana. Numerous AFL and NFL pre-season games had been played here also.1967 Saints Media GuideFinally in 1967, the NFL granted New Orleans an expansion team and called their team the Saints. But the manner in which this club became an actual pro football team has a story on its own. They were a direct result of the AFL-NFL merger.During the year of 1966, the AFL and the NFL had agreed in secrecy to begin merger proceedings. Both leagues had had enough of the escalating salaries, among other items. On June 8, 1966, it was announced that the leagues would merge completely beginning with the 1970 season. All franchises in both leagues would remain in their present location with a common draft and common preseason schedule beginning in 1967.Even though months and months of negotiations had gone back and forth between representatives of both leagues and numerous obstacles were ironed-out, there was one piece of business that needed to be addressed; and with this singular morsel, nobody within the NFL nor the AFL had an avenue to accomplish it on their own.There was an impasse. A major problem stood in the way of the merger. In fact, the merger just may not happen at all.FB Ernie Green (#48) gains yardage off blocks by T Monte Clark (#73) and G John Wooten (#60) for the Browns in front of 77,045 fans at Tulane Stadium (New Orleans) in 1967, a 42-7 Cleveland victoryEven though representatives of both leagues had mutually agreed to the unification, the House Judiciary Committee (HJC) in Washington, D. C. had to exempt and approve the merger from antitrust law sanctions. Antitrust laws are set up in the United States as a method to keep competition going, thus giving consumers the advantage of competitive pricing. Without these laws, the result would become higher prices charged for commodities and possibly inferior products, goods or services.Therefore, when the AFL was in competition with the NFL, everyone had the benefit of choices - players had choices, advertisers had choices and the public had choices.Now that the two leagues – the only two leagues by the way – were about to be formed into one entity, this meant suddenly there would be a monopoly on the business of pro football. And this – was a problem.At the time Cleveland Browns Hats , the chairman of the HJC was Emanuel Celler from New York. By the early fall of 1966, he refused to let the bill out of committee. It was Celler who was the lead House sponsor of the legislation which toughened the “Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914.” This key bill (revised in 1950) closed regulatory loopholes which had once allowed companies to form vertical mergers and also conglomerate mergers - which allowed limits on competition. Having closed up all the gaps in antitrust laws was certainly his specialty, and Celler wasn’t going to budge for some millionaires involved in a children’s game. The NFL commissioner at the time was Pete Rozelle. Upon brainstorming of what the two leagues were to do next, he spoke with a longtime friend of his from Louisiana named David Dixon. Dixon had been involved with pro football for years and almost owned the Raiders, set up NFL pre-season games in New Orleans and was the driving force for the construction of the Louisiana Superdome. Dixon was also involved in politics.Did you know?David Dixon etched his place in the annals of professional football. He formed the New Orleans Professional Football Club, Inc. in the early 1960’s. After the 1961 season, he had a deal struck to buy the Oakland Raiders of the AFL for $236,000 to which the franchise would become the New Orleans Raiders. The mayor of Oakland interceded and shortly thereafter the deal was cancelled. In 1965 he persuaded the AFL to hold their annual All-Star game in New Orleans and got the NFL to hold numerous pre-season games in the Big Easy. Along with his assistance in getting the Saints, he became a minority owner. Later he was the driving force behind the construction of the Louisiana Superdome. In 1973 he made a presentation to the NFL owners about a spring league that would become a developmental league, sort of like a farm system but eh owners passed on the notion. From that idea he would invent the United States Football League from 1984-1986. Years later, he had in the planning stages three more pro football leagues: America’s Football Teams, Inc., American Football Federation, and the FanOwnership Football League.聽Rozelle inquired if Dixon knew of anyone who could speak to Cellar and try to change his mind on the bill. Dixon had another idea. His old college buddy was House Majority Leader Hale Boggs from Louisiana. Boggs had a need to regain some public trust after he voted in support of the civil rights bill and was suddenly not the popular politician in a heavily-segregated Deep South. Dixon, along with his political advisor, impressed upon the congressman that he could push the bill through.In return, the city of New Orleans would be granted the next expansion team - and Boggs would get the credit for doing so. He covertly attached the exemption to a budget bill that was a certainty to pass in both the House and the Senate thus detouring Celler altogether. The bill passed on October 21.The NFL and AFL got their merger and New Orleans got an immediate franchise.Barry Shuck is a pro football historical writer and a member of the Professional Football Researcher’s Association.

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